Skeptical Girls Guide to Lipstick

My mom is a lipstick lady. When I think of lipstick I think of my mom. However I hated the stuff growing up. It was not unusual for my mom to utter the phrase "you just need some color!" before big life events. I would often opt for a gloss or a color almost identical to my skin tone to appease. WHAT WAS I THINKING!! 25 years later I am ready to admit that mama was right (Yes, I have admitted this to her. Yes, it was difficult).

One of the reasons I hated lipstick so much was because when I smile majority of my upper lip disappears. Confession--I am super self conscious about it. It took a good quarter of a century but I have finally embraced my amazing disappearing lip and won't it it stop me from "just needing a some color".

You may find this a little shocking but lipstick doesn't fall into the make up category in my mind. I consider it an accessory. Make up is something that is neutral and doesn't change too much with what I am wearing (again this is just me). However, my lipstick choice is 100% driven by my outfit choice for the day making it fall into the accessory category in my mind much like a necklace or a pair of earrings. Below are my 5 favorite shades and my 5 tips for stepping up your lipstick game.
All shades are from Maybelline 

1. Know your undertones
Undertones fall into one of two categories--warm tones or cool tones. Knowing your tone is extremely important in all aspects of fashion but especially in lipstick wearing. The wrong undertone can come off a little Bozo instead of Bombshell.
Here are some helpful articles about finding your undertone: Style Caster, Beauty Department,

2. Exfoliate
There is nothing worse than peely lips and lipstick. It flakes, it is messy, its not cute. I love love love using the e.l.f lip exfoliator (a là Target) to slough off any dead skin before I apply my lips for the day.

3. Don't Re-Apply
If I notice that my lips are fading and I need to look a little fresher (which for the record I normally don't because I'm busy telling teenagers that "No, I do not have a pencil they can use" and they "should be more prepared for class") I completely take off the first layer and start with a clean slate. I think about it like painting over paint. The more paint you apply the more likely the paint will start to peel and look janky.

4. High Pigmentation
Pick a color that has a high pigmentation. Colors look different on everyone but the higher the pigmentation the closer you will get to the "true" color on the outside of the tube. I highly recommend the Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid  collection (all but the "Are you Red-dy" and "Born with It" above are part of that collection) because of the high pigmentation and it is cheep.

5. Have fun with it
Because I categorize lipstick as a accessory I tend to get a little crazier with my lip color. Have fun, try something new, get a little crazy! Might I suggest the ombre lip trend I head Kristen Cavaillari talking about on E!'s new show Fabulist (also I can't decide how I feel about this show.. thoughts?)
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BTW Maybelline has no idea who I am I just like their lip color and it works for me. It is inexpensive and comes in a trajillion different colors and can be picked up with I am picking up milk and eggs! 


Jess said...

I'm semi terrified of lipstick. I think it looks so good on others but mehhhh I freak out if I use certain colors on myself. I need to learn what my undertone is! Oh and the fact that you used the word "janky" does my heart good


Niki {Glossy Blonde} said...

This is great!!! I didn't really get into wearing lipstick until a few years ago - I was always a gloss girl! I totally agree with all your tips - especially starting over when things start to fade or crease!

Unknown said...

I couldn't agree with you more, lipstick is totally an accessory. And our mother's could've been sisters, because she's told me for as long as I can remember to never leave the house without "a little color on your lips." Being the girl I am, I took this tidbit and ran with it - but my sister on the other hand just embraced lipstick. ;)
Since discovering Maybelline's Vivid line, I've been obsessed with Electric Orange and Neon Red. (Orange, I know... I went out on a limb, but love it.) I can't wait to try some of these other colors you recommended.

Unknown said...

Love this! You are luckier than me... I didn't embrace the "needing some color" until late twenties (Wahhh) so you have a few years on me. And the exfoliator tip is spot on! No one likes a janky lip!

Hill said...

I first started wearing lipstick about a year ago in an effort to feel more adult and I'm so glad I did! I feel so much more put together with a bold lip. I wear that shocking coral all the time now and just love it!
From Mississippi With Love

nicole s. said...

the beginning of this post sounds exactly like me and my mom! she ALWAYS has lipstick, and i so didn't get it as a kid. i can't count how many times i heard "you just need a little color" growing up. i only ever wore lipstick for theatre until college, and now i'm obsessed. i always have like five different lipsticks in my bag. i just like to be prepared! being my mother's daughter, i am totally a revlon girl. these colors look awesome though, so i might have to give maybelline a try!

xo nicole

Steph G said...

I just wrote today about my fear of lipstick. I need all the help I can get :)

Katie said...

i really want to try bright lips. but i'm afraid i'd look silly. you look beautiful! I like the pink pop color!

Meghan at Champagne & Suburbs said...

One of my goals for 2014 was to start wearing lipstick. I've been really happy with the results, but I always forget to reapply!


A Brew of Blessings said...

Girls probe ha! Thanks for these tips lovely one!

A Brew of Blessings said...

Girls probs ha! Thanks for these tips lovely one - loving the brights actually!

Darby Hawley said...

I love that you consider lipstick an accessory; you're totally right about that! Over the years I have started wearing lipstick more and more because I too have skinny lips. Whereas lipstick was for "old ladies", now it is a confidence booster for me. I have to say that I think you rock all of those colors!

Michelle said...

My mom is a lipstick woman, too! But she's also a Texan ;) I want to love lipstick, but I feel so ridiculous in it and like I can't pull it off, and I'm constantly worrying that it's fading. You look AMAZING in it, my dear.

Unknown said...

I am a HUGE lipstick girl (obviously!) and I love to match mine to my outfit too! I love all of those colors on you! I have a few from Maybelline but can't keep track of the names. I actually had to force myself to stop buying bright pink lipsticks because I have too many that are similar! I need to start venturing out into something totally different :)

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

All I'm taking away from this post is "janky." ;)

You beautiful woman, you!